Leading a climb with no falling or dogging, but with a piece of previous
knowledge hints on how to do those crux moves. Even seeing someone do
the climb already classifies as 'previous knowledge'.
(d) Flash mit Ansage, (f) Flash
Rock climb that is so long and sustained that a normal ascent lasts several
(d) Big Wall, (f) Voie longue, (f-c) Grand mur, (e) Gran Pared, (s)
Storöägg / Bigwall
Short for Karabiner
(d) Kara, (f) Mousquif, (e) Mosquete / Mosquetón, (s) Karbin
A tiny hooked piton manufactured by A5. It is similar to the old Chouinard
"Crack'n up", except that it only has a single side and that it is intended to
be hammered in if necessary.
Or short, bivi. An uncomfortable sleeping place in the middle of a route.
(d) Biwak, (f) Bivouac, (nl) Bivak, (i) Bivacco, (e) Bivac, (s) Bivack, (pl)
Old ice that was exposed to extremely cold temperatures, scree, and
snowfall. Usually found deep in shady couloirs, or on steep north faces.
Very hard and dense ice that is difficult to climb.
To begin a big wall, after the line fixing is done. "We're gonna blast on
Tuesday morning after we get the first three pitches fixed".
French term. Going to boulder at 'Bleau (short for Fontainebleau, the site
of some excellent bouldering near Paris)
Very dense ice with a watery hue and few air bubbles.
(d) Haken, (f) Spit, (i) Spit, (e) Spits/Bolt,
(s) Bult, (pl) Spit
(d) Bohrhaken, (f) Cheville à expansion, (nl) Boorhaak, (i) Caviglie da
espansione, (e) Piton de expansion, parabolt, (s) Borrbult
Used to indicate that something is exceptionally solid, e.g. an anchor, a
hold. See also bombproof.
(e) Firme, (s) Kanon
The illusion that an anchor is infallible
(d) Bomben sicher, (f) béton (i) A prova di bomba, (e) A prueba de
bomba, (s) Bombsäker
An almost extinct species of extra wide pitons. Now, large chocks are
usually used instead.
(f) "Bonne Grimpe !"
A greeting to climbers when they start the climb.
(e) "¡Buena suerte!"
Climbing unroped on boulders or at the foot of climbs to a height where it
is still safe to jump off.
(d) Bouldern (f) Faire du bloc, (nl) Boulderen, (i) Arrampicare su masso,
(e) Boulder / Cascarear
To crater from an extreme height. Usually lethal.
Sailing knot (not to be used for climbing, unless backed up with a second
(d) Bulinknoten/Palstek, (f) Noeud de chaise, (nl) Paalsteek, (i) (Nodo)
bulino, (e) Bulín, (s) Pålstek
Aka helmet. That all important hard shelled thing that covers our
(second?) most valuable asset.
A large hold (Aka "jug", esp. in UK)
(d) Henkel, (f) Bac/baquet, (nl) bak, (i) Fibbia / Vasca, (e) Asa / gasa, (s)
To climb buildings
(d) Fassadenklettern, (f-c) Escalade de ville, (nl) Geveltoerisme, (e)
Escalada urbana, (s) Fasadklättring
Interesting but rarely used climbing knot.
(f-c) Noeud papillon / les oreilles du Micky ??, (e) Nudo de mariposa
The part of the mountain or rock that stands in front of the main
(d) Vorbau / Pfeiler, (f) Pillier, (i) Pilastro, (e) Espolón, (s) Pelare
Generic reference to the family of spring loaded camming devices
(SLCD) such as friends, camalots, aliens, TCUs, etc. Also refered to as
A dyno executed using the arms only. Comes from the campus board
where the people who do this move get the muscle to do it.
(d) Frei hängend
A wooden training board with finger ledges that is used for training dynos
and finger power.
(d) Hangelbrett, (f) Planche d'entraînement, (e) Tabla de entrenamiento
Contact Greg Opland for this one...
(d) Tote Katze, (f) Chat mort, (nl) Dode kat, (i) Gatto morte, (lat) Felis
oplandis, (s) Död katt, (pl) Zdechly kot
Magic powder that makes the hands stick to even the smoothest rock.
(d) Chalk/Magnesia, (f) Magnésie, (nl) Magnesiumpoeder, (i) Magnesia,
(e) Magnesio, (s) Krita, (pl) Magnezja
Cheese grater, to
To slide down a slab while scraping the knees, hands, and face.
Bra-like looking harness (to be used with waist harness)
(d) Brustklettergurt, (f) Harnais, (nl) Borstgordel, (i) Cinghia pettorale, (e)
Arnés de pecho, (s) Bröstsele, (pl) upzraz piersiowa
Sometimes phallic shaped, protruding lumps that make excellent hand or
footholds on granite, etc.
(d) Zacke / Felsköpfel, (f-c) Banane, (e) Chile / cuerno
A wide crack that accomodates (most of) the body of the climber.
(d)Kamin, (f) Cheminée, (nl) Schoorsteen, (i) Camino, (e) Chimenea, (s)
Kamin, (pl) Komin
A climbing technique used to conquer chimneys. Usually requires the use
of the back and feet, arms, head and other body parts.
A hold created with a hamer and chisel by a moron uncapable of doing the
climb as it is.
(d) Geschlagener Griff, (f) Prise taillée, (i) Presa scavata, (s) Chippade
Generic reference to the family of passive wired protection devices, also
called nuts, stoppers, wires, and rocks.
A stone wedged between a crack, a chimney, etc.
A very steep gully. The word chute is french for fall and refers to the
rockfall that is very common in a chute.
A number designating the overal technical level of a route. The first
number in the YDS designates the class of the climb. Here's the different
Climbing without falling or dogging.
(f) Enchaicirc;ner (une voie), (e) Escalada limpia
Aid climbing without hammering.
To remove the pro from a route. Usually done by the follower.
(d) Abbauen / Ausraümen, (pl) Czyste
A vertical piece of rock good for climbing (see also Crag).
(d) Fels, (f) Falaise, (nl) Rots, (i) Falesia, (e) Risco, (s) Klippa, (pl) Skala
Not just a silly film with Wolfgang Güllich and Ron Kauk, but also the
name for a small hooking device used to aid climb up small ledges and
(d) Klettern, (f) Grimper, (nl) Klimmen, (i) Arrampicare/scalare, (e)
Escalar, (s) Klättra, (pl) Wspinac sie
(d) Kletterei, (f) Escalade, (nl) Klim, (i) Arrampicata , (e) Escalada, (s)
What the climber shouts after the belayer screams "Belay on".
(d) "Komme", (f) "Parti", (nl) "Ik kom", (i) "parto"/"vengo", (e) "Voy", (s)
"Jag klättrar", (pl) "Ide"
The second best thing to real rock (Aka "wall" in the UK).
(d) Kletterhalle, (f) Mur d'escalade / Salle d'escalade, (nl)
Klimzaal/Klimhal, (i) Palestra, (e) Muro artificial de escalada, (s)
Shoes made of sticky rubber that would have fit you comfortable when
you were ten.
(d) Kletterschuhe, (f) Chaussons d'escalade, (nl) Klimschoenen, (i) Scarpe
da roccia / scarpette / pedule, (e) Botas de escala / tenis de escalada,
(e-argentina) pedulas / zapatillas de escalada, (s) Klätterskor, (pl) Pantofle
/ buty wspinaczkowe
"Climb when ready"
The British equivalent of "Belay on".
(e) "Cuando estés listo", (e-argentina) "veni"
The reassuring action of putting the rope through a karabiner (that is
attached to a piece of pro).
(d) Einhängen, (f) Mousquetonner, (pl) wpiac sie
A useful, easily adjustable climbing knot usually used to tie the rope into a
(d) Mastwurf, (f) Noeud de cabestan, (i) Nodo barcaiolo, (e) Cola de
cochino, (s) Dubbelt halvslag
A steep, high mountain pass.
Thin static rope (5, 5.5 or 6 mm)
(d) Reepschnur, (f) Cordelette, (nl) Prusiktouw, (i) Cordino, (e) Cordino /
cordeleta, (s) Repsnöre
Inside corner (see dihedral) or outside corner.
(f) Diedre, (i) Diedro, (e) Esquina, (s) Hörn
Unconsolidated granular snow that has gone through a short
freeze-and-thaw process. This type of snow is prevalent throughout the
High Sierra in April and May.
A steep gully which may have snow or ice.
Crack, in rock
A gap or fissure in the rock varying in width from nail to bodywidth.
(d) Riß, (f) Fissure, (nl) (Rots)-spleet, (i) Fessura, (e) Grieta, (s) Spricka,
Name for a (small) climbing area.
(d) Klettergarten, (f) Falaise, (i) Falesia, (s) Klippa, (pl) Skala
Very pointy footware use to walk glaciers or climb ice.
(d) Steigeisen, (f) Crampons, (nl) Stijgijzers, (i) Ramponi, (e) Crampones,
To pull on a hold as hard as you can, and then some.
To fall and hit the ground, as in "I almost cratered".
(f) Se gaufrer/se vautrer/se planter/dévisser, (s) Kratra, (pl) glebowac
The very top of a ridge or arete.
A crack in the surface of a glacier.
(d) (Gletscher-)spalte, (f) Crevasse, (nl) (Gletscher-)spleet, (i) Crepaccio,
(e) Grieta, (s) Glaciärspricka, (pl) szczelina
A very small hold that accepts only the finger tips.
(d) Kratzer / Pinchi, (f) Gratton, (i) Tacca, (e) Grieta de dedos
The hard bit.
(d) Crux/Schlueßelstelle, (f) Le pas/Crux, (nl) Sleutelpassage, (i) Passo
chiave, (e) Paso clave, (s) Krux
A sling sewn (or tied) with numerous loops, used as an adjustable sling in
A dynamic move where the next hold is grabbed at the dead point of the
(d) Greifen im toten Punkt
The usually unfriendly surface that wellcomes you at the end of a
Device used for rappeling.
(d) Abseiler, (f) Descendeur, (i) Discensore, (e) Descensor, (s)
Inside corner (Aka "open book").
(d)Verschneidung, (f) Dièdre, (nl) Versnijding/hoek, (i) Diedro, (e) Diedro,
(s) (Inner-) hörn / Dieder
US slang which means as much as 'Lower me'.
(d) "Ablassen" / "Nach"
Dog (to dog a move)
Climbing, lowering, climbing again till a certain move is made (the usual
mode of ascent...).
(d) Ausbouldern, (nl) Jo-jo
Double fisherman's knot
Solid knot used to tie two ropes or pieces of webbing together (Aka
(d) Doppelter Spierenstich, (f) Double noeud de pêcheur, (nl) Dubbele
visserssteek, (i) Nodo a contrasto doppio/nodo doppio inglese, (e) Nudo de
pescador doble, (s) Dubbel fiskarknop
Same as a half rope. Also the technique using two half ropes.
(d) Doppelseil, (f) Corde à double, (i) Corda doppia, (e) Cuerda doble, (s)
Descending the difficult way.
(d) Abklettern, (f) Désescalader, (nl) Afklimmen, (i) disarrampicare /
Arrampicare in discesa, (e) Destrepar / Desescalar, (s) Nedetklättring
Generic name for a climber (in the US).
A belay method in which some rope is allowed to slip during severe falls.
A dynamic belay can severely reduce the impact force from a serious fall,
but can also severely kill you if not done properly.
(d) Dynamische Sicherung, (f) Assurage dynamique, (i) Sicura dinamica /
assicurazione dinamica, (e) Seguro dinámico, (s) Dynamisk säkring
Dynamic movement towards a distant hold.
(d) Dynamo, (f) Jeté, (nl) Dynamo, (i) Lancio, (e) Movimiento dinámico,
(s) Dynamiskt move
The first sport climbing shoes
A sharp edge on a rock face.
(d) Kante, (f) Graton, (i) Spigolo / lama, (e) Orilla, (s) Kant, (pl) Kant
Foot technique where one uses the edge of the climbing shoe to stand on
small footholds. The opposite of smearing.
(d) Kanten, (f) Gratonner, (e) cantear
To have a sewing maching leg. Named after "Elvis, the King", who
suffered from this this problem when singing before a crowd of screaming
(d) Nähmaschine, (e) motoneta, (pl) telegrafowac
The story of a well planned climb that turned into a grueling adventure that
turned out well in the end. As these stories are told over and over again -
and they always are - the details get stretched to supernatural proportions
for dramatic effect.
(d) Eine Geschichte, (f) Epopée (e) Historia épica
(Pronounce with a french accent). Webbing ladder used for aid climbing.
Also known as 'aider'.
(d) Leiter, (f) Étrier, (nl) Ladder, (i) Staffa, (e) Estribo, (s) Stegar
Not crack climbing.
(d) Wandklettern / Plattenklettern, (nl) Wandklimmen, (f) Grimper en
dalle, (i) Arrampicata su parete/Arrampicata in placca, (e) Escalada
exterior, (s) Väggklättring, (pl) wspinaczka po plycie
A dynamic retreat from a climb (free-solo rappel). Note that it is never the
fall that kills, it's the landing.
(d) Stuerzen, (f) Prendre un plomb / Voler / Tomber, (nl) Vallen, (i)
Cadere / Volare, (e) Caer / volar, (s) Ramla, Falla, (pl) odpasc
Yelled when a climber is (about to) fall.
(d) "Ich stürze", (f) "Sec" (eqv. to 'up rope'), (nl) "Ik val", (i) "Volo", (e)
The length of the fall divided by the amount of rope paid out.
(d) Sturzfaktor, (f) Facteur de chute, (i) Fattore di caduta, (e) Factor de
caída, (s) Fallfaktor
A PVC tube used to store solid human waste on big walls. Aka the Shit
An open hook used to allow easy clipping during aid climbing. Usually
found on aiders, daisy chains, etc.
(d) Fifihaken, (f) Crochet goutte d'eau ?, (i) Gancio fiffi, (e) Fifí, (s)
Metal rappelling/belaying device shaped like an 8.
(d) Achter/Abseilachter, (f) Descendeur en huit (Huit), (nl) Acht, (i) L'otto
(il discensore), (e) Ocho, (s) Åtta, (pl) Osemka
Figure of eight
Very popular and solid tie-in knot.
(d) Achtknoten, (f) Noeud en huit (Huit), (nl) Acht/achtknoop, (i) Nodo a
otto / Savoia inseguito, (e) Nudo de ocho, (s) Åttaknut, (pl) Osemka
Masochistic technique to twist and wedge the fingers into a crack.
(d) Fingerklemmtechnik in Rissen, (f) Verrou (de doigt), (nl)
Vingerverklemming, (i) Incastro di dita, (e) Encuñadura de dedos, (s)
Old, well consolidated snow. Often a left-over from the previous season.
Closer to ice than snow in density, it may require the use of crampons.
Simple knot to tie two ropes together. The double fisherman knot,
however, is more popular.
(d) Spierenstich, (f) Noeud de pêcheur, (nl) Visserssteek, (i) Nodo a
contrasto semplice, (e) Pescador, (s) Fiskarknop
To lead a climb with no falls or dogging and with no previous attempts on
the climb. Two variations exist: the onsight flash (where the climber has
never seen the climb before) and the beta flash (where the climber has
studied the climb before or has seen someone do the climb). See there.
(f) Enchaâner en tête
A thin bit of rock that is detached from the main face.
(d) Schuppe, (f) Écaille, (i) Scaglia, (e) Laja, (s) flak, (pl) Pletwa
A crack or chimney with sides that are not parallel, but instead form two
converging planes of rock.
Not leading a climb.
(d) Nachsteigen, (f) Grimper en second / Grimper en moulinette, (nl)
Naklimmen, (i) Seguire (andare da secondo), (e) Segundear / escalar de
segundo, (s) Följa
Moving up a rock using only hands, feet, and natural holds. Ropes and pro
are only used for protection of the climber and not for progression.
(d) Frei klettern, (f) Escalade libre, (nl) Vrijklimmen, (i)
Scalata/arrampicata libera, (e) Escalada libre, (s) Friklättring
Free climbing while using no ropes for protection. You fall - you die.
(d)Free solo klettern, (f) Solo, (nl) Solo, (i) Arrampicata in solitaria, (e)
Escalada solitaria / Superlibre, (s) Frisolo
Trade name for the original camming devices, now also available as
Camalots, TCU's, Quads, Aliens, Big Dudes, etc.
The part of the karibiner that opens.
(d) Schnapper, (f) Doigt, (nl) Snapper, (i) Leva, (e) Pestillo, (e-argentina)
leva, (s) Grind
A slowly moving permanent mass of ice.
(d) Gletscher, (f) Glacier, (nl) Gletscher, (i) Ghiacciaio, (e) Glaciar, (s)
A wake up call for the belayer, used to warn her that you are about to
some weight on the rope.
A number denoting the seriousness of a route (not to be confused with the
rating of climb, which describes the technical difficulty). In Britain,
however, the word grade means both grade and rating. Look here for the
(d) Ernsthaftigkeitsgrat, (f) Engagement, (e) Grado
Not being able to hold on to a particularly slick hold, due to the presence of
sweat, lactic acid or sand. Not uncommon in overused crags
A fall where the kinetic energy is not absorbed by the rope and pro, but
rather by mother earth itself. Can hurt badly.
Nifty but somewhat controversial belaying device made by Petzl.
Paralyzed with fear and utterly confused.
A wide, shallow ravine on a mountainside.
High Altitude Cerebral Edema. Liquid in the brain as a result of high
altitude exposure. Few people live to tell what it is like.
A rope of 9 or 8.5 mm that has to be used together with a second rope
when leading a climb.
(d) Halbseil, (f) Corde de rappel, (nl) Half touw, (i) Mezza corda, (e)
Media cuerda, (s) Halvrep
Slightly masochistic technique where the hand is wedged into a crack.
(d) Handklemmer, (f) Verrou (de main), (nl) Handklem, (i) Incastro di
mani, (e) Encuñadura de mano / -de palmas, (e-argentina) Empotrar la
Big banana-shaped hold often found in indoor gyms. Great for waving
hello to admiring bystanders. It may sound bizarre, but I've never seen one
of those outdoors...
(d) Henkel, (nl) Handvat
High Altitude Pulmonary Edema. Liquid in the lungs as a result of high
altitude exposure. Pretty serious condition that can quickly lead to HACE
if a descent to lower altitudes is not made immediately. See also HACE.
Piece of clothing that identifies you as a climber. The coolness factor can
be significantly enhanced by hanging things from the harness that go cling.
(d) Klettergurt, (f) Baudrier/Baudard, (f-c)
Klimgordel, (i) Imbragatura, (e) Arnés, (s) Klättersele, (pl) Uprzaz
Large and robust bag used to haul food, water, climbing gear, sleeping bag,
television, satelite dish, and other essential equipment that is required, up a
big wall. Also know as "the pig".
(d) Materialsack / Nachziehsack, (f) Sac, (i) Sacco da recupero, (e)
Petate / Costal de escalada, (s) Hissack
Where the face of a mountain steepens dramatically.
The vocal alternative to 6 signals a minute. In far away countries, try
S.O.S. -- it doesn't mean anything but is understood by most.
(d) "Hilfe", (f) "Au secours", (nl) "Help", (i) "Aiuto", (e) socorro/ayuda, (s)
Solid plastic device that can sometimes protect the head from falling
stones or impact (Aka a brainbucket).
(d) Helm, (f) Casque, (nl) Helm, (i) Casco, (e) Casco, (s) Hjälm
Short for Hexentrix. A type of nut with an excentric hexadiagonal shape.
Works for wedging (as a nut) but also for camming.
A beautifully shaped pocket with a positive lip named after these
increabible features found at the Hueco Tanks bouldering area in Texas.
Karibiner with one wide side used for belaying with a munter hitch (aka
pearabiner). From the German term for munter hitch belay:
(d) HMS, (i) Moschettone a pera, (s) HMS-knut
Anything that can be held on to.
(d) Griff, (f) Prise, (nl) Greep, (i) Appiglio / Presa, (e) Presa / agarre,
(e-argentina) Toma, (s) Grepp, (pl) Chwyt
Spike of rock that can be for a great hold or not so great protection. The
same as a chickenhead.
That member of the climbing team that is suffering from severe exposure
to alcoholic beverages the night before.
Device used for ice climbing, glacier crossing, or scaring away burglars.
(d) Eispickel / Eisbeil, (f) Piolet, (nl) IJsbijl, (i) Piccozza, (e) Piolet, (s)
A protection device for ice climbing. Looks like a large bolt that can be
screwed in hard ice.
(d) Eisschraube, (f) Broche à glace, (i) Vite da ghiaccio, (e) Tornillo para
hielo, (s) Isskruv
Munter hitch knot or HMS knot
Wedging body parts in a crack.
(d) Klemmen, (f) Faire un verrou / Faire un coincement / Coincer, (i)
Incastrarsi, (e) Encuñar, (e-argentina) Empotrar, (s) Jamma, (pl) Klinowac
Very large hold (short for jug handle) (Aka "bucket" in the US).
(d) Henkel / Kelle, (f) Poignée, (nl) bak, (i) Vasca / Fibbia, (e-argentina)
Manija, (s) Brevlåda, (pl) Klama
Big wall lingo for Jumars or any other type of ascenders.
To jumar up a line (big wall lingo).
A type of rope ascending device.
To ascend a rope using ascenders.
(d) Jumaren, (f) Monter au jumar, (e) Jumarear, (s) Jumarera
Metal connecting device (Aka "biner").
(d) Karabiner, (f) Mousqueton, (nl) Karabiner/mousqueton, (i)
Moschettone, (e) Mosquetón / Mosquete, (s) Karbin / Karbinhake, (pl)
Modern climbing rope consisting of bundles of continuous nylon filaments
(Kern) surrounded by a braided protective sheath (Mantle).
Piece of cord with a knot tied into the end that is used for protection
(pretty much like a nut). The traditional method of protecting climbs, and
still used in the Elbsandsteingebirge in Eastern Germany.
(d) Knotenschlinge, (f) Corde nouée, (i) Cordino annodato
Somewhat clumsy looking climbing technique where hands and feet work
(d) Piazen/hangeln, (f) Dulfer/opposition, (i) Dulfer (Opposizione), (e)
Dülfer, (s) Layback
Person who leads a climb.
(d) Vorsteiger, (f) Premier (de cordée), (nl) Voorklimmer, (i) Primo, (e)
Primero / puntero, (s) Försteman, (pl) Prowadzacy
To ascend a climb from the bottom up, placing protection (or clipping
protection) as you go.
(d) Vorsteigen, (f) Grimper en tête, (nl) Voorklimmen, (i) Andare da
capocardata, andare da primo, (e) Puntear / guiar, (s) Leda, (pl)
Flat bit on a rock (can be miniature or gigantic).
(d) Leiste (small) / Absatz (large), (f) Réglette/vire ("vire" is somewhere
between a microledge and a party ledge), (nl) Rand(je), (i) Cengia, (e)
Repisa, (s) Hylla, (pl) Polka
Type of rock found in abundance in southern France (usually white and
full of pockets and holds).
(d) Kalkstein, (f) Calcaire, (nl) Kalksteen, (i) Calcare, (e) Roca calcárea,
(s) Kalksten, (pl) Wapein
Karabiner that can be locked.
(d) Verschlusskarabiner / Schrauber, (f) Mousqueton à vis, (nl)
Schroefkarabiner, (i) Moschettone a ghiera, (e) Mosquetón de seguro, (s)
Låskarbin / Skruvkarbin
To hold on to the rock with one bent arm while using the other arm to
reach up for the next hold or to place or clip protection. Lockoffs on small
holds will get you pumped in a hurry.
(d) Blockieren / Fixieren, (f) Bloquer, (nl) Blokkeren, (i) Bloccaggio, (e)
Bloquear, (s) Lesa / Binda av
To descend something or somebody.
(d) Ablassen, (f) Descendre en moullinette, (nl) Zakken/naar beneden
laten, (i) Calare, (e) Bajar / descender a alguien, (s) Fira ner
Term used to describe a fixed bolt that looks like it was placed before the
last ice age. Use these bolts at your own discretion
(d) Rosthaken, (f) Clou pourri/clou rouillé
Difficult balancing move useful to get up on ledges.
(d) (Durch)-stützbewegung, (f) Rétablissement, (i) Ristabilimento, (s)
Climbing with a combination of different methods of ascent. e.g mixed
free and aid climbing, mixed rock and ice climbing, etc.
The gap between snow and ice on a rock wall. Has posed problems ever
since the middle ages.
The people who put their life on the line when you screw up badly.
(d) Bergrettung, (f) Secours en montagne, (i) Soccorso alpino, (e) Rescate
de montaña, (s) Bergräddning
The dirt and vegetation that can sometimes be found in cracks.
Multi pitch climb
Climb that consists of more than a single pitch.
(d) Mehrseillaengentour,(f) Voie de plusieurs longeurs, (nl) Klim van
meerdere touwlengtes, (i) Via da piu' tiri, (e) Ruta de varios largos, (s) Tur
med flera replängder(?), (pl) Droga kilku wyciagowa
Knot used for belaying (Aka italian hitch or friction hitch). The Germans
love this knot (see HMS).
(d) Halbmastwurf, (f) Demi-cabestan, (nl) Halve mastworp, (i) Mezzo
barcaiolo, (e-argentina) Nudo dinamico, (s) Munterknut
An ancient term used to describe direct-aid climbing with pitons.
Rock with a characteristic pointed shape. Also known as pinnacle, aiguille,
(d) Nadel / Spitze, (f) Aiguille / Gendarme, (i) Guglia / Pinnacolo, (e)
Aguja, (s) Pinnakel
Consolidated granular snow formed by repeated freeze-and-thaw cycles.
Also used to indicate permanent snowfields.
A small col.
Metal wedge used for protection in cracks.
(d) Klemmkeil, (f) Coinceur, (nl) Nut , (i) Dado, (e) Nuez, (s) Kil, (pl)
Piece of metal that can be used to remove stuck nuts or cams
(d) Keilenentferner, (f) Décoinceur/sardine, (i) Cavadadi, (e) Sacanueces,
Yelled when the climber no longer requires a belay (e.g. because she/he
has reached a stance). Once the belayer hears "off belay", he/she
removes the rope from the belay device and yells "belay off". In UK,
Australia and New Zealand: "Safe".
(d) "Stand" ("Aussicher"), (f) "Relais" or "Vâché", (nl) "Stand", (i) "Posto" /
"Molla", (e) "Libre", (e-argentina) "autoasegurado", (s) "Lägg av" / "Ta
A climb too wide to jam, too small to chimney. And then I've heard of
people who actually like this kind of climbing.
(d) Schulterriß, (e) Off width
"On Belay ???"
Query to verify if the belayer is ready to secure the climber (US only).
(d) "Kann ich kommen?", (f) "Tu me prends ???", (i) "Sei pronto ???", (e)
"?Subo?" / "?estás listo?", (s) "Sakring klar ???"
Leading a climb with no falls and no dogging and without any prior
attempts, watching someone do it or beta on how to do the moves.
(f) Enchaîner en tête á vue, (i) A vista, (e) A vista
Same as a dihedral or inside corner. Two panes of rock join in an acute or
obtuse corner that faces left or right.
Also known as pillar or arete.
(d) Kante, (f) Pilier, (nl) Pijler, (i) Pilastro
A simple (but solid) knot in a double rope.
(d) Sackstich, (i) Nodo delle guide, (e) Nudo simple, (s) överhandsknut
The simplest type of knot possible.
(d) Kreuzschlag, (f) Queue de vache, (e) Gasa
Rock (or ice) that is "more than vertical".
(d) Ueberhang, (f) Surplomb(=strong overhang) or dévers (=slight
overhang), (nl) overhang, (i) Strapiombo, (e) Desplome / Extraplomo, (s)
Överhäng, (pl) Przewieszenie
The lowest passage between two mountains. The french - but not just the
french - know this as a col. The mathematicians would call this the saddle
(d) Pass, (f) Col, (i) Sella / Colle / Passo / Valico, (e) Collado / puerto, (s)
A somewhat larger ledge used to rest (and party !) during a particularly
hard or long climb. Sometimes used to refer to the belay station on a
(f) Terrasse ("vire" is a somewhat narrower ledge), (i) Terrazza, (nl)
Plateau, (e) Repisa
A swing on the rope, either intentional to gain a distant anchor on big wall
climbs or unintentional when falling during a traverse with not enough pro
(d) Pendeln / Pendelquergang, (f) Pendule, (i) (Traversata a) pendolo, (e)
Péndulo, (s) Pendeltravers / Pendla
The haul bag.
(d) Pfeiler, (f) Pilier, (nl) Pijler, (i) Pilastro, (e) Pilar, (s) Pelare
To red-point a climb where the pro and runners have been pre-placed.
(d) Rotpunkt mit eingehängte Schlingen (Rotkreuz ???)
A section of climb between two belays and no longer than the length of
one rope (this used to mean 45m, nowadays pitches can also be 50 or
even 60m long -- check your topo).
(d) Seillaenge, (f) Longueur, (nl) Touwlengte, (i) Tiro, (e) Largo (de
cuerda), (s) Replängd, (pl) Wyciag
Metal spike hammered into a crack (has come in disuse for all but some
special applications) (Aka "peg" in the UK).
(d) Haken, (f) Piton, (nl) (Mep)haak, (i) Chiodo, (e) Pitón / clavo
A hold formed by a (small) depression in the rock.
(d) Loch/Fingerloch, (nl) Gat/vingergat, (i) Buca da dito, (s) Ficka, (pl)
A hanging tent with built in bed used on big walls (and big trees).
Anchors placed during the climb to protect the leader. Beware: even
properly placed pro does not prevent pregnancy or the transmission of
(d) Sicherungsmittel, (f) Protection, (nl) Zekering, (i) Protezione, (e)
Protección / anclaje, (s) Säkring
The sliding knot or the method to ascend a rope (named after its inventer
Dr. Karl Prusik).
(d) Prusik, (nl) Prusik, (i) Prusik, (e) Prusik, (s) Prusik
The feeling of overworked muscles. Most climbers are familiar with the
forearm pump: too much finger work causes the forearms to swell and the
strength to disappear. With a serious forearm pump, even holding a glass
of beer can become a serious challenge.
(d) Dicke arme (or any other body part), (f) Avoir les bouteilles/Daubé,
(nl) Verzuurd, (i) Acciaiato, (s) Pumpad
Short sling with karabiners on either side.
(d) Expreßschlinge, (f) Dégaine, (nl) setje, (i) Rinvio / Preparato / sveltina,
(e) cintas express, (s) Expresslinga / Kortslinga, (pl) Expres
The climbing gear carried during an ascent.
(d) Materialsortiment, (f) Matériel / matos, (i) Equipaggiomento /
Assortimento di materiale, (e) Bandolera / bandola, (s) Racka / Utrustning,
Not trad. Slang for sport climbing.
To climb exceptionally well, especially on normally difficult climbs.
An ascending ledge
Also: to rap. Descending by sliding down a rope. Known in Britain (and
Germany) as abseiling.
(d) Abseilen, (f) Descendre en rappel, (nl) Afdalen/abseilen (i) Calare (in
corda doppia), (e) Rapelear, (s) Fira
A number denoting the technical difficulty of the climb. See here for more
on ratings and grades.
(d) Schwierigkeitsgrat, (f) Cotation, (e) Escala de dificultad
To lead a climb without falling or dogging after a number of attempts. This
is different from onsight, where the climb is lead without falling or dogging
on its first attempt.
(d) Rotpunkt, (f) Enchaîner, (i) Arrampicare in libera, (pl) RP
An alternative to chalk. Resin (or "pine tree resin" to use its full name) is
made from the yucky stuff that sticks to your hands when you touch a
pine tree. Because resin is mostly colorless, it is preferred to chalk in some
areas. But caution: Don't let the color fool you. Resin can do permanent
damage to the rock and in fact is not allowed anywhere in the US for that
reason. reason in the US.
(d) Pof, (f) Pof, (i) Resina, (e) Resina, (s) Harts
A slender buttress. Something between a buttress and an outside corner.
The high divide extending out from a peak.
A large (2 inch diameter) ring that is cemented in the rock as a bolt. Rings
are very common in Germany and France and are excellent for rappelling
and hanging belays.
(d) Ring, (f) Scellement, (nl) Ring, (i) Anello da calata, (s) Ringbult, (pl)
Scream let out to warn people down below that a piece of rock has been
overcome by gravity. The loudness, number of repitions, and/or panic in
voice with which this word is uttered is often an indication of the
seriousness of the rock. In the UK, you're more likely to hear "Below",
(d) "Stein", (f) "Pierre" / "Caillou", (i) "Sasso", (e) "Piedra", (s) "Sten"
Seriously overhanging part in a climb (more or less horizontal).
(d) Dach, (f) Toit/Plafond, (nl) Dak, (i) Tetto, (e) Techo, (s) tak, (pl) Dach
Long and round nylon fabrication. Climbing ropes are generally between
10 and 11 mm in diameter (with the exception of "half ropes" which are
between 8.5 and 9mm in diameter).
(d) Seil, (f) Corde, (nl) Touw, (i) Corda, (e) Cuerda, (s) Rep
Should be yelled when a rope is about to be thrown to the base of the crag
(though most of the time it seems like "rope" is shouted about 1-2 seconds
after the rope is thrown). In the UK, shout "Rope below".
(d) "Seil", (f) "Corde", (nl) "Touw", (i) "Corda", (e) "Cuerda", (e-argentina)
"va cuerda", (s) "Rep", (pl) "Uwaga lina"
A certain path up a rock or mountain.
(d) Tour, (f) Voie, (nl) Route, (i) Via, (e) Ruta, (s) Led, (pl) Droga
A loop of tape or webbing either sewn or tied (Aka sling).
(d) Schlinge, (f) Sangle, (i) Anello, (e) Anilla, (s) Slinga, (pl) Talma ?
A runner threaded or looped around chockstones, flakes, horns or
chickenheads for protection.
Distance between two elements of pro. A route is "runout" when the
distance between those two elements of pro becomes uncomfortably long.
(d) Abstand zwischen 2 Sicherungspunkten, (f)
(Une voie est) Engagée,
(i) Via protetta lunga, (e) Ruta poco protegida
A high pass that looks somewhat like the horsewear. Not quite as steep as
The British equivalent of "Off Belay".
(d) "Stand", (f) "Relais" / "Vâché", (nl) "Stand", (i) "Posto" / "Molla", (e)
"Libre", (s) "Lägg av"
Easy climbing, usually unroped.
(d) Kraxeln, (f) Randonner, (e) Trepar, (s) Lätt Klättring
A very, very long fall.
(f) Méga-plomb, (i) Mina / Randa
Special piece of equipment meant to reduce the impact of a screamer (the
fall) on the belay system.
Loose rocks and stones that cover the slope below a cliff. With every
step, scree slides under your feet.
The climber who follows the leader. See also following.
(d) Nachsteiger, (i) Secondo, (e) Segundo
To climb a route with ease. "I'm gonna send this route, dude!"
Sewing-machine leg or arm
A leg (or arm) under tension that suddenly starts jerking up and down like
a sewing machine. Stretch the muscle, take a deep breath, and don't think
of falling... (see also: to Elvis).
(d) Nähmaschine, (s) Symaskin, (pl) Telegraf
The end of the rope to which the leader is attached.
Often heard during a fall... (Well educated climbers in the UK sometimes
say "sugar" - but only if they're not in too much trouble).
(d) Scheisse !, (f) Merde!, (f-c) "Chite!", (nl) Shit!, (i) "Merda!", (e)
Mierda!, (s) Djävlar!, (pl) Cholera / Kurcze / Kurde
Technique where both climbers are tied close together into the middle of
the rope. The rest of the rope is then carried over the shoulders in a coil.
Frequently used for simul-climbing. The term (and technique?) is used
frequently in the Canadian Rockies.
Belaying technique where the belayer keeps the leader under tension in an
attempt reduce the length of a fall. Tony Bubb will gladly give you an
exposé on the dangers of this technique.
A hand hold that needs to be held with a horizontal (sideways) pull.
(d) Piaz-Griff / Seitgriff, (f) Prise verticale, (i) Maniglia rovescia, (s)
Sidotag / Sidogrepp, (pl) Odciag
A lenticular cloud (quite rare in the Alps).
Flat and seemingly featureless, not quite vertical piece of rock.
(d) Platte, (f) Dalle, (nl) Plaat, (i) Lastra / Lastrone / Placca, (e) Laja, (s)
Sva / Platta, (pl) pologa plyta
Yelled when the climber needs more rope (e.g. to clip into protection).
(d) "Seil", (f) "Mou", (nl) "Touw", (i) "Corda" ("Lasco"), (e) "Cuerda", (s)
"Slacka", (pl) "Luz"
A toprope setup where the belayer belays on the ground (where the
climber starts climbing) and the rope is pre-clipped through the anchor at
the top of the climb.
Pathetic downward slanting hold. (Usually look like buckets from below.)
(d) (Abschüssiger) Aufleger, (f) Prise fuyante, (i) Appiglio spiovente
Foot technique where a big part of the climbing shoe is used to generate
as much friction as possible. The opposite of edging.
(d) Auf reibung stehen, (f) Adhérence, (i) Aderenza, (e) Fricción, (s)
Climbing alone, though not necessarily without the protection of a rope
(see also free solo).
(d) Solo klettern, (f) Soloer, (e) Escalar en solitario
Climbing routes of (extreme ?) gymnastic difficulty while protection
oneself by clipping copiously numbered and generously spaced preplaced
(d)Sportklettern, (f) Escalade sportive, (nl) Sportklimmen, (i) Arrempicata
sportiva, (e) Escalada deportiva (s) Sportklättring, (pl) Wspinaczka
Bridging with the feet between two holds.
(d) Stemmen, (f) Se mettre en opposition, (i) Opposizione, (e) Oposición,
(s) Stämma / Sprajsa
American slang meaning "hold on" or "go for it".
(f) "Allez !", (e) "Asegura"
A belay device consisting of a plate with two slots in it. An original
creation by Franz Sticht.
(d) Sticht Bremse, (f) Plaquette d'assurance, (f-c) Plaque-frein, (i)
Piastrina sticht, (e) Placa Sticht, (s) Stichtbroms
The top of a mountain or rock.
(d) Gipfel, (f) Sommet, (nl) Top, (i) Cima, (e) Cima / cumbre, (s) Topp,
To reach the summit.
(d) Gipfeln, (e) Encumbrar
American monosyllable for "Up Rope".
(d) "Seil ein" / "Zu", (e) "Recupera", (pl) "Wybierz"
The British equivalent of "Up Rope".
(d) "Seil ein"/("Zieh an"), (f) "Avale", (i) Recupera, (s) "Tag hem", (pl)
Heard often in British crags, meaning the climber is "off belay" and about
to pull up the slack between him and the belayer.
Large blocks of rock. A coarse variation of scree.
A small lake.
That part of your climbing gear you don't want to leave at home.
Part of the climbing dialogue. Courtousy call to the belayer to indicate that
the slack in the rope is all taken up and that further pulling is pointless.
(d) "Seil aus", (f) "En bout"/"Bout de corde"
The British equivalent of "Up rope" ???
(f) "Sec", (f-c) "a sec", (e) "Tensa"
The bottom of a buttress.
A short drawing of the route. Good topos will allow you to spot the line
right away, show the placement of bolts and belay stances, indicate where
the crux is and what rating it has.
(f) Topo, (e) Topo
Free climbing a route that has the safety rope attached to the top of the
climb (usually one walks to the top to set up the top-rope belay).
(d) Toprope / Seil von oben, (f) Moulinette, (nl) Toprope, (i) Corda
dall'alto, (e) Yoyo, (s) Topprep, (pl) Wedka
Solid but not failproof knot also known as water knot (or ring bend when
used on webbing).
(d) Sackstich in Ringform, (e) Nudo encontrado
Traditional climbing, characterized by the placing of protection (cams, nuts,
etc.) in cracks and pockets. Trad also includes multi-pitch routes often
with long runouts..
(d) Traditionelles, Alpines Klettern, (f) Classique, (nl) Alpijns klimmen, (i)
Tradizionale, (e) Escalada tradicional /clásica
A fall during a trad climb, sometimes accompanied by the popping sound
of protection succumbing to the temptations of gravity. See also 'crater'
(d) Quergang, (f) Traversée, (nl) Traverse, (i) Traverso, (e)
Travesiacute;a, (s) Travers, (pl) Trawers
Synomym for 'Bomber'. A trustworthy piece of pro.
A tunnel through or hourglass shape in the rock that allows a runner or
cord to be fed through for protection.
(d) Sanduhr, (f) Lunulle, (i) Clessidra, (nl) Zandloper, (e) Túnel
A hold that would be a perfect bucket if gravity were upside down. As it
is, underclings are usually awkward holds that require lieback type moves.
(d) Untergriff, (f) Inversée, (nl) Ondergreep, (i) Presa rovescia, (e)
Undercling, (e-argentina) Toma invertida, (pl) podchwyt
Yelled by the leader or the follower when she/he wants a tighter belay. (In
UK: "Take in" or "Tight" or even "Watch me").
(d) "Seil ein", (f) "Sec" / "Avale", (nl) "Blok", (i) "Recupera", (e) "Tensa",
(s) "Tag hem"
Thin water ice on rock.
Call to indicate the climber is about to do something stupid -- like fall.
(d) "Pass auf", (f) "Fais gaffe", (nl) "Let op", (i)"Occhio" / "Guardami
bene" / "Tiemmi tirato", (e) "Cuídame", (s) "Beredd?", (pl)
Ice formed directly from frozen water. Water ice is clear and brittle and
contains few air bubbles. Sometimes water is even flowing around the ice.
Can be found in the couloirs of the High Sierra in autumn (and in many
See tape knot.
(d) Bandschlingenknoten, (e) Nudo encontrado, (s) Vattenknop
Flat and strong strip of nylon, that is hollow in the inside.
(d) Schlauchband , (f) Sangle (tubulaire), (nl) Schlinges, (i) Fetuccia
tubolare, (e) Cinta tubular, (s) Tubband
Webbing (loop of)
A runner made of webbing.
(d) Bandschlinge, (f) Sangle (anneau de), (i) Anello di cordin / Anello di
fettucia, (e) Anilla, (s) Slinga
A very long fall.
Ice with lots of air bubbles that forms from melted-and-frozen snow. Good
A homemade climbing wall.
As in 'yabo start'. A 'sit start' ???????? (I need some help on this one)
Yosemite Decimal System. The North-American rating system.
A fall where the protection pulls out one after the other as the leader
succumbs to gravity. Often ends with a grounder (or a cardiac arrest).
Complicated rope setup that allows you to hoist heavy weights with
relatively little force. Excellent for recueing or hauling bags.
(d) Flaschenzug, (f) Palan